Is sun cream necessary in the cooler months?

Lady applying sun cream to her body at the beach

We all wear sun cream in the summer without giving it a second thought, but should we also consider wearing it throughout the winter as well? The short answer: YES!
There are many benefits to wearing sun cream in the cooler months to keep your skin happy and healthy all year round.

UVB rays are a type of ultraviolet ray that can cause sunburn. Even though these ultraviolet rays are stronger throughout the summer, they can still be present in the winter and cause sunburn without you even realising. The sun is even closer to the earth during the winter months so it can increase your chances of sunburn if you are not protected.


If you would like to keep your skin looking as youthful for as long as possible, then using sun cream is a must. The UVB rays that come from the sun are also responsible for depleting the collagen in the skin. A lack of collagen in the skin can cause it to say and lead to premature ageing. Around 90% of wrinkles are caused by extreme exposure to the sun and UVB rays.

Risk of Skin Cancer

The main reason sun cream is necessary throughout the whole year is because of the risk of skin cancer. The UVB rays are the types of ultraviolet rays that have been linked to skin cancer and they can be strong through the winter months. By incorporating an SPF into your morning routine every day, it can help to lower the risk of getting skin cancer. Wearing an SPF30 or higher will give you the best protection against UVB rays.

Thinning Ozone

The ozone layer makes up part of the atmosphere that takes in the harmful radiation from the sun and acts as a sun shield for the earth. The ozone layer is even thinner during the winter months, and this gives you even less protection from the sun. Even though the outdoors feels colder, you still may be absorbing UVB rays into your skin.

When the weather is cold or freezing, it leaves your skin dry and slightly agitated and this allows the ultraviolet rays to impact your skin even easier. Wearing sun cream on exposed skin between 10 am and 4 pm will keep you protected.


Ice and snow can reflect up to 90% of UVB rays. If you go on a winter sports trip, make sure to protect all of the exposed skin including lips, ears neck and face with sun cream containing SPF. Those who hit the slopes often are at an even higher risk of damaging their skin because exposure to UV radiation increases 4-5% every 1000 feet above sea level.

It is recommended that sun cream be applied every 3-4 hours if you are planning to spend an extended period of time outdoors.